2009/709 Improving the supply chain for selected Western Australian finfish
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2009/709 Improving the supply chain for selected Western Australian finfish


By Janet Howieson



The West Australian domestic seafood industry faces continuing pressures in the face of rising costs of production, lowered catch, economic considerations (e.g. value of Australian dollar) and competition. The industry also faces the considerable challenge of distance. It is therefore paramount that harvest and post-harvest strategies optimises all facets of the supply chain to ensure the maximum profitability. This project aimed to increase profitability in at least two Western Australian finfish supply chains; increase industry knowledge and capacity to undertaken supply chain analysis; and increase research capacity in finfish supply chain analysis.


A range of seafood supply chain monitoring techniques were developed and verified during this study. Five supply chains were studied in detail, including MG Kailis chain from Exmouth to Perth, Australia Bay Seafood chain from Darwin to Perth, line caught Pink Snapper from Shark Bay, pearl meat form Broome and Australian Salmon from Albany. Commercially relevant outcomes/benefits were recorded for four of the supply chains following analysis of the data and recommendation and trial of interventions to improve supply chain performance. Several new research projects, particularly around waste utilisation were developed from the results.


Standard methods for temperature logging, microbiological assessment, drip loss assessment, quality assessment of whole fish and fillets were finalised and an economic model was developed. In addition, three research assistants and five post-graduate students have been trained in seafood supply chain monitoring techniques. Lastly a series of “How To” videos were developed for industry and results were presented at conferences and meetings (including a 4 day seafood post-harvest handling workshop for scientists and industry in Singapore).